Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wandering around Cambridge

The next day we were up and off early towards Cambridge and by 9a.m. were at the hotel. I had great plans for my day in Cambridge not least was a visit to the Botanical Gardens but the heat was so intense I decided not to walk that far out of the centre so spent my day just pottering around along the river, in the museums and looking at all the lovely clothes, shoes and perfumes I couldn't afford to buy - but perfume you can try so I did that, too. I went in three or four book shops and spent ages wandering around before choosing Heffers to sit and drink coffee and gaze at passers by and the wonderful array of books on offer. About 11.30a.m. I decided that I'd better swap my window shopping hat for my tourist hat and so I made my way to the nearest Museum.

The Cambridge Folk Museum is housed in an old Inn and is a fascinating place. The building itself dates from around 1600 and for 300 years was The White Horse Inn.

The courtyard of the Museum

As you walk in from the reception area the first rooms are the bar and snug from the old public house and then through to the kitchen.

Up stairs in the guest bedroom was a small walk-in cupboard at the side of the fireplace; this was used for powdering wigs. In the 18th century lots of people wore wigs and they would need to be stored on a stand overnight and powdered before wearing, the little room had a shelf - presumably for the wig stand - and a window to the outside through which to shake off the excess powder.

I loved these old houses - this was the view across the road from the top floor where there were displays on Fenland crafts and working life - things like eel catching and wildfowling - and a childhood room. From here I wandered up to Kettles Yard and looked around the gallery although the house wasn't open until later in the day.

It was time to wander back to the bridge and take a walk along the River Cam before it got too warm and I wanted to see punts, below the river on Quayside near Jesus Green.

At 2p.m. it felt like lunch time so I popped into M&S for sandwiches and a drink and sat in St Mary's churchyard - like many other people - in a shaded corner to eat my lunch.

I had a couple of hours before I had to return to the Gonville Hotel so I wandered up towards the Fitzwilliam Museum where it was cool and fairly quiet - here are a few of the photos I took along the way.

The Corpus Clock outside the Taylor Library of Corpus Christi College. It was designed by John Taylor - who explains about it here

Bicycles on the wall of Corpus Christi College

Window box in the quad of Peterhouse College

Don't know what this building is but I liked it

At the Fitzwilliam museum I looked at the Darwin exhibition and then - you've guessed - back to the rabbits again! As you can see from my little souvenirs from the shop - but I'll tell you more about 'The Macclesfield Psalter' in a later post.


  1. Someday when I EVER get to England, which may be never...I am going to appoint you as one of my tour guides. :) Such wonderful pictures and places.

  2. Thank you for this lovely tour!
    I spent only one day in Cambridge during my stay in England and the only thing I can remember is that I rowned a boat on the river Cam!
    Have a nice Sunday!

  3. I can window shop just about anywhere, except a bookshop. Seems I always have to purchase something there!

    Such a pretty town. I adore those fuschia coloured flowers against that warm golden stone.

  4. I used to enjoy a trip to Cambridge when I was a student in Hertfordshire. It didn't take long to get there and once there, I loved to poke around the bookshops and peep into the colleges. I even went punting on the river!
    That was a great tour ..thanks ;-)

  5. How beautiful. It looks like a perfect English sunny day! The Fitzwilliams (the museum you were in) were from Wentworth Woodhouse near me. They also had a country pile in Northamptonshire too (as well as many many other places). They were a fascinating family, but still much of their lives are kept private - which just makes me want to know more!!

  6. Beautiful photos, thank you for this lovely tour. Cambridge looks so pretty. I love old buildings and places. Thank you for visiting my blogs, and your lovely comment.
    Big hugs, Bethxx

  7. Thanks for the tour. I'm off to cambridge soon so it was very useful

  8. Cambridge is so beautiful, I have never been to the folk museum so that is now on my list also.

    I am enjoying "A month in the country" thanks for the introduction. I found a copy in Waterstone's in Manchester on Sunday!

  9. Thanks Rosie, I always enjoy wandering around with you :D
    I love the window box, its beautiful.

  10. I wonder if the saying.."I am going to the powder room" comes from this little rooms in the 18th century? Now we are powdering noses...
    Lovely visit..and a great time in the book shops I am shure:))
    Have a wonderful summerday...